“Wildcats first down!” was announced for many years at Western Wayne home football games by the late Mr. James Rebar, beloved English teacher in the high school, who also served as the announcer for Wildcat football games. Rebar lost a battle with cancer this past summer and his students decided to honor him with a blood drive on Friday, November 30 hosted at the high school.
Senior Taylor Smith ran this event as her senior project. Western Wayne seniors complete service-based projects as a step towards their graduation. Taylor, who is interested in studying nursing next year, says she chose to dedicate the drive to Rebar after learning about event planning for these types of drives at a training hosted by the American Red Cross.
Taylor said she knew Rebar had lost blood due to his illness and thought his family would be pleased that her and other Western Wayne students would like to help others fight illnesses like Rebar did. Many of Rebar’s students admired and respected him.
“He was just awesome,” Taylor said. “He made everyone laugh all of the time, but he could also be strict. Mr. Rebar made sure all of his students were prepared for adulthood.”
Taylor explained how she would go to Rebar for extra help for one of the honors courses she was taking. She explained how welcoming he was to her and how much he wanted to help her succeed. In turn, Taylor, who is president of the Western Wayne CATS Club, a service project based group, is so glad that her blood drive for Rebar was successful.
“We had about thirty students and teachers donate,” Taylor explained. “It’s awesome that we got to give back like that.”
Fellow senior Amber Antidormi agrees. Amber plans to major in psychology next year.
“I always love helping people,” Amber explained. “And this event gave me the opportunity to do just that.”
Another CATS club member sophomore Keyly Robinson also used this event as a chance to honor Rebar, help others, and get experience for her future career.
“I like events like this because I plan on going into the medical field to be a surgeon,” Keyly explained.
Rebar’s mother Pat Rebar and his sister Suzanne Rebar both attended the drive and felt glad that students like Keyly could use this event in Mr. Rebar’s honor to help them gain experience for future careers in helping others.
“I was surprised to see that the event had such a good outcome,” Pat said. “It was so nice to see the kids working together in Jim’s honor and gaining a good experience in the process.”